We used to live outside of Philadelphia many years ago and one of our favorite meals were Philly Cheesesteaks. We have tried to get them occasionally here in Colorado and with few exceptions, nothing matches the real thing. Every time we are back in Pennsylvania, we make sure to get an Italian Hoagie and a Philly Cheesesteak, which is what we did a couple of years ago. There are a couple of important things to making a good Philly and that is getting a good, soft, hoagie roll and the other is slicing the meat very thin. We aren’t going to get into a debate as to the best place to get a Philly in Philadelphia, but in our opinion getting one from one of the many food carts downtown is better than most of the famous restaurants. Some people believe that a Philly should be served with cheese sauce instead of real cheese, but we think that provolone cheese is the authentic way to serve a cheesesteak. The only alteration that we made to the traditional cheesesteak was to add mushrooms, which you will find as an option on the food carts, and it just adds a little extra flavor. This recipe serves up to four people and is really delicious.
- 1 lb Top Round Beef – sliced extremely thin
- 1 Medium Green Pepper – sliced
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion – sliced
- 5 to 6 Medium Button Mushrooms – destemmed and sliced
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1/4 lb Provolone Cheese – sliced
- 4 Hoagie Rolls
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Prepare the vegetables being sure to slice each of them in equal thicknesses. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the green peppers. After the peppers have sautéed for about 2 to 3 minutes and then add the onions. After about another 5 minutes, add the mushrooms and continue to sauté until they begin to caramelize slightly (don’t over cook them). Remove the vegetables from the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drain on a paper towel. Turn an oven onto broil at 500 degrees. Salt and pepper the beef and then add the meat to the same pan that you cooked the vegetables and cook until it is just starting to brown (again, don’t over cook the beef). Add the vegetables back to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes, just to combine them and reheat the vegetables. Open the hoagie rolls, being sure not to completely separate the halves, and place them on a baking sheet. Add 1/4 of the meat and vegetable mixture to each of the rolls and place cheese over the meat mixture. Broil for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Transfer to a plate and serve with mayonnaise. You can add lettuce and tomato if you would like, but that isn’t necessarily traditional.